Marathon Training Update

The weeks have been rushing by, and I have not taken the time to journal the process of marathon training as I would have liked to. I thought I better take a few moments to record my thoughts and experiences thus far.

As I have mentioned, I am signed up for my first full marathon on May 19!

Sometimes I think it is within my reach. Sometimes I ask myself what I was thinking. We all have good days and bad days, right?

I started training the week of Thanksgiving. In Minnesota, that means either running in cold and snow, or taking it inside. I hate to risk slipping on icy trails, so I generally take it inside to an indoor track. Five and one-fourth laps to the mile. You might think that could get tedious. You’d be right. 😉

Interestingly enough, this has been an unusual Minnesota winter. Much of the time, it has felt an awful lot like spring. As a result, I have been able to do quite a few of my long runs outdoors, which is great! My longest indoor run was fourteen miles, and I did not enjoy it. Two weeks later, I ran sixteen miles outdoors, and I had a blast! My pace was erratic, and I fought that for a while. I decided around mile three to just go with it. I ran fast (for me) for a while, then slowed down to catch my breath. I just did whatever felt good, and it was the most fun I’ve had on a run in weeks. I’ll try to keep a steady pace another day. 🙂

I have enjoyed planning out different routes for different distances on those weeks when running outside works well. I’ve been exploring my town, and some neighboring towns while I’ve been at it. That aspect of training has been pretty enjoyable.

I have learned some hard lessons concerning what is and is not appropriate to wear when running outdoors in the cold. You might think that the cold weather concern won’t apply on May 19. Maybe, maybe not. I ran a 5k in late May a few years ago when the temperature was in the low 30s. You just never know.

I have found that fuel is a much more important concern when running longer distances, and have found myself very hungry at times. Training is more than just moving my muscles along. There are all kinds of things to learn and improve along the way.

I typically do two mid-week runs, ranging from three to five miles. On other days, I walk or do workout DVDs, or just rest up. I prefer to do something that isn’t too jarring on my non-run days. I feel like my joints need a break from the pounding.

The big day is creeping closer and closer. Less than two months now. I’m at a point in training now that every other week or so, I will run a new personal distance record (if all goes well). My record now is sixteen miles. I remember not too long ago working up to three miles.

If you had asked me even five years ago if I could ever see myself running a marathon, I would have thought you were crazy. Let’s be honest, I would have thought you were crazy if you asked me if I would ever run a 5K. Then I went to cheer on my in-laws at a race and caught the running bug. It’s been a lot of fun.

Change can be amazing.